The beauty of building a new home is that you get to pick everything the way you like it. This is a fun and exciting time, and most homeowners start the journey all smiles. However, given the sheer number of finishes, fittings, appliances, and fixture selections that need to be made, this can become a tedious and daunting process.
For some homeowners it is like being a kid in a candy store. They are paralyzed at the thought that they cannot pick everything. For others, the possibility of making an expensive mistake can be very stressful.
In the interest of keeping those smiles, here are five vital tips that will simplify the process and reduce the chances of making expensive mistakes.
1. Start With A Vision
Without a vision of where you want to go, you might end up in a place you didn’t want.
As the future owner of a new home, you have likely been looking at magazines and online pictures to get ideas. An inspiration folder with images of the places you like and things that appeal to you is an effective tool to pin down your personal style, and to help you build a visual plan for your home.
Your inspiration folder will be your toolbox to help you get closer to where you want to be. Refer to it often—there will be times when you need something tangible to guide your choices.
2. Follow A Process
The order in which you select finishes is very important. The good news is that there is a logical sequence to the process, and once you’ve selected a few key elements, every next selection becomes a little easier. As you continue, it becomes less about finding unique items, and more about what works with what you’ve already selected.
Start with your floors—it sets the tone of the room, and visually takes up a lot of space. The most timeless options for wooden floors are naturally light or medium brown. The rule for tiles is to always keep it simple.
Next is to choose is the hard finishes that have limited color options—counter tops, stone, and tiles. All of these—even whites—have subtle undertones, and some undertones simply don’t agree with others. Always place your selections alongside one another to see if they work well together.
The very last finishes to select are paint colors. Here you have endless options to pick from, and with your hard finishes already selected, it will be easy to find the colors that pull everything together.
3. Set Your Budget
To make the selections process more manageable, set a budget for each part of the project. This will direct your attention to products and styles in your price range and will reduce your options, making the whole process less overwhelming.
There might also be a specific item or finish that you’ve always wanted in your dream home, even though it might be a bit of a splurge. That is fine. You can plan for this by being more conservative on other items that are less important to you, and so balance things out.
Decide what your must-haves and non-negotiables are and plan around that.
4. Make Decisions Early On
Although your builder does not need to know everything upfront, it is highly recommended that you settle design choices early on.
When you select and place all your finishes together, you have a better chance of achieving continuity throughout your home. Your builder will also be able to give you more accurate estimates, and most importantly, when orders are placed well in advance, it will reduce costly delays later on.
Stretching out the process might also wear you down, and can end up in hasty decisions you later regret.
5. Remember Not All Finishes Are Equally Important
This means that you don’t have to fall in love with each and every finish you choose. As in the movies, some finishes will be main actors, while others will merely play a supporting role.
If all the finishes were superstars, they would compete for your attention and none will stand out.
It is a relief to know that you can relax a little about some selections, and save your energy for the ones that are really important to you.